Excerpt from The Boundaries of Music and Poetry: A Study in Musical Æsthetics
What this book is intended to do and would like to do the reader has perhaps already guessed from its title. The task which it has proposed to itself is, to draw the boundary line between Music and Poetry - that is, in other words, to establish on fixed principles the points at which the domains of both touch; where in touching they coincide, and where there is between them no point of contact whatever.
Let us not ignore the fact that in music we have reached a critical point. Hardly any one knows what he should or should not do, can or cannot. Of creative tone-artists, a part (by far the smaller part) has taken refuge in earlier conceptions and forms, and cultivates its modest field after the principles of the so-called "classical" period. It would be too bad to attempt to disturb this idyllic happiness; but it is quite certain that everything such well-meaning people can say to us has already been said better by others before them. This scanty after-crop, fortunately scarcely noticed by the world, pushes up parasitically among the genuine, authentic plants which once flourished in this soil precisely when it was the right season for them.
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